Phase OV

The Setup: Business is booming at Akie's, a family restaurant in Nerima Sakae Cho, and it's all because of the new waitress, one Natsume Atsuko. (Although I bet it helps that the restaurant is air-conditioned. It's the kind of hot weather that drives normally sane people to try to sit inside their refrigerators.) She's working there so she can buy a new bike for Ryunosuke after crashing his old one. Arisa and Kyoko's air conditioner has crashed too, and payday isn't till the end of the month so they can't afford to have it fixed. When they take refuge in Akie's, things get a little wiggy. Of course, it's that stupid catgirl's fault, right? Any action they take in this matter will be totally unauthorised by Akiko - she owns Akie's and is delighted by how good Nuku Nuku is for business! Has the world gone mad? No, just Arisa and Kyoko...

My Review and Thoughts: This may just be the best episode of the whole OAV in terms of making you laugh until you wet your pants. It's completely insane, of course, and it takes true style to be this unfettered by logic! (For example, why doesn't Nuku Nuku recognise Arisa and Kyoko when they disguise themselves by dressing like schoolgirls and wearing their hair slightly differently? Never mind!)

Another nice thing about this episode is that it doesn't go for the obvious source of comedy, Nuku Nuku klutzing up at waitressing. Instead, she's perfectly good at it, and things only get crazy because of Arisa and Kyoko's involvement. You have to admire how tightly and well Phase OV uses one location - why, it almost observes the Aristotelian Unities! (Ancient Greek rules of drama. One of them was that the main events of a play must take place within one day, in one location. Understandably, no-one pays much attention to them any more. See, this website's educational too!)

For me, the jewels of this episode are the dismal gaggle of teenage boys who worship Nuku Nuku and become convinced that Kyusaku is 'an evil middle-aged jerk with a Lolita complex' - Nuku Nuku's lover, and Ryunosuke is her child! The overblown drama of their leader, a boy with square spectacles and crooked teeth, is especially delightful. And then, of course, there are the Giant Twin Mongolian Warrior Chefs - the restaurant cooks who beat up Arisa and Kyoko in no uncertain terms. (I don't know that they're Mongolian, they just look it.) One review I've read criticises this episode for making light of violence against women, but in general, Nuku Nukumakes light of all violence - you can't pick on just this example as objectionable. Like Team Rocket in Pokémon (another series I love), Arisa and Kyoko always bounce back from whatever physical ordeals they endure - and, in this case, give as good as they get.

Like Phase OIII, this episode is tremendously cathartic in terms of firepower discharged. Arisa and Kyoko are simply glorious in their madness. Add to this the spectacle of Nuku Nuku tripping out on catnip and you have yourself a mighty fine time, my friend!

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